How do I begin the process?

It takes two willing participants to effectively use the collaborative law process, and two lawyers willing to practice law collaboratively. The most important distinguishing feature for collaborative lawyers is that they both agree, if the matter cannot be settled out of court, to withdraw from further represenation. The parties then have to find new lawyers to go to court. This provides a big incentive for the parties to settle.

The most important distinguishing feature for the parties is that both sides agree to full and fair disclosure of all relevant facts; no stone-walling or game-playing. The parties seek to reach a settlement for the highest good of all concerned.

Since Collaborative law is a relatively new process, your spouse may be reluctant to agree without proper education regarding the benefits of the process. Therefore it is a good idea to:

  • Schedule a restaurant "date" with your spouse to discuss Collaborative Family Law and share the information from this website. If you feel your spouse might be wary of the information coming from you, invite him to look up collaborative law on the internet.
  • Review and choose from the list of dedicated collaborative law attorneys practicing law in your state.
  • Meet with your attorney to discuss your case and the details of the process.